Film has been a passion of millions of people all over the world for more than a century. But for Italian producer Filippo Nesci, film is much more than just a passion. It’s a birthright.
Nesci’s family history with film goes back to the early 1900s when his great grandfather, the Baron Arturo Nesci, was a photography enthusiast.
A generation later, Nesci’s grandfather, Michele Nesci, established himself as a filmmaker, photographer and finally, a film professor at the prestigious Roberto Rossellini Film School of Rome. While Filippo Nesci’s father, Domenico Nesci M.D., took a different path, becoming a creative psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Domenico was also heavily influence by film; and, in the last decade he has incorporated the medium into a innovative creative psychotherapy training that he invented for medical students known as “The Workshop Movies and Dreams.”
After helping his father make a documentary for the Italian online scientific journal of psychotherapy “Doppio Sogno” several years ago, Filippo Nesci was hooked on the filmmaking process, and his innate skill in the industry immediately propelled him on the track to becoming a producer.
Nesci’s breakout production was the music video for singer-songwriter Meg Myers haunting, beautiful, tour de force Monster. The video garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube despite Myers not being attached to a label or a publicist at the time of its production, which was an impressive feat for Filippo Nesci to pull off.
“It was organizing, planning and getting everything for the director (Abram Pineda-Fisher) in order to make his vision come true,” Nesci said.
Pineda-Fisher’s vision included a night scene in a forest that involved Myers being soaked in buckets of cold water. During the filming of that scene, Nesci went above and beyond the typical call of duty for a producer as he assisted his crew with keeping Myers as comfortable as possible during the challenging shoot.
“I was very impressed with the commitment she had for her first big music video,” Nesci said.
Myers has since signed with major label Atlantic Records, thanks in part to the organic success of the Monster video that Nesci produced. Atlantic Records is part of Warner Music Group, one of the “big three” recording companies and one of the largest and most successful labels in the world.
Nesci parlayed the success of Monster into more music videos, including 80s Fitness by British electronic music production duo KOAN Sound. The video featured an elaborate production of two fitness enthusiast teams who used a combination of parkour and martial arts to whimsically compete to the death in front of intricate, beautifully designed background sets that were created from miniatures.
“This was an extremely ambitious production considering this music video had a very limited budget,” Nesci said.
Nesci went out and covered vital expenses such as food, production design and additional staff that kept the production going. He even found two production designers to build a small gym on set, and scheduled the transportation, construction and overall management of the gym’s creation.
“The results were an amazing music video, and an extremely happy artist crew and record label,” Nesci said. “The director (Tim Hendrix) kept getting more work thanks to the success of the video.”
80s Fitness went on to win Best International Video at the 2013 FirstGlance Film Festival, a 2013 Jury Award for Best Music Video at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, and a College Emmy.
Another Nesci production, the film Wrecks and Violins, also took home multiple awards. The story of a disoriented teenager who needed to overcome a stranger’s bizarre torment with nothing more than a violin and a monkey-suited comrade earned the Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film Festival and was a 2012 NFFTY Audience Award Winner.
Nesci used his innate people skills to create a light and relaxed atmosphere throughout the film’s entire production process which was vital to the project finishing on time and within budget. His most remarkable accomplishment during the film’s production was when he used his diplomatic talents to obtain a permit to film a key scene in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena without spending a dime.
“(It was) not easy to get,” Nesci said. “It required all my unique communication skills.”
But perhaps the most impressive of Nesci’s production feats was when he found a white alpaca for a commercial for the Scotch whiskey distillery Lagavulin. The commercial’s director specifically wanted a white alpaca and a field in which to film the South American llama lookalike. Nesci found not only a white alpaca, but an entire alpaca farm.
“I found him the exact alpaca he wanted, and I also found other different ones that we later filmed just to have more options in post-production,” Nesci said.
The find paid off for Nesci and Lagavulin as the commercial won a 2014 Clio Award.
Nesci has already build an impressive resume of award-winning projects such as films, music videos and commercials, and will no doubt add many more to it in the future.